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Undercover Gay Man Gets Reparative Therapy at Marcus Bachmann’s Ex-Gay Clinic

Truth Wins Out reporter John M. Becker just came home from eight days of Marcus Bachmann’s ex-gay therapy clinic. A changed man? Not so much…

Becker, in an effort to expose Bachmann and Associates, left his home in Vermont and flew to the Twin Cities with a covert operation to get ex-gayified at the now-famous reparative therapy clinic of Marcus Bachmann. Before Becker’s first consultation with his new therapist, “Dr.” Wiertzema, he had to do some serious Meisner prep to ready himself for the part:

  1. Remove credit card with the HRC logo from wallet
  2. Delete photo of husband from phone’s background
  3. Remove wedding ring
  4. Take a hard look in the mirror and harken back to 16-year-old self-hating days
  5. Hide a camera in man bag (The footage of which has not yet surfaced)

The story of Becker’s 8-day ex-gay therapy at Bachmann and Associates is fascinating. Through Becker’s report it sounds mostly like eight days of verbal and emotional therapy and none of that terrifying shock treatment or physically abusive stuff we’ve seen before. The therapy involved finding a “cause” of his homosexuality, focusing on the beauty of women, and affirming his masculinity.

He writes, “I pretended to have just told my brother that I was seeking counseling to help me deal with homosexuality. My brother’s (fictitious) response was that I should just come out, because a person can be happy and gay and still go to heaven. My therapist said that my brother ‘didn’t choose his words wisely.’”

Becker is apt to note that during his time served he was “never told that every professional medical and mental health association rejects “ex-gay” therapy… or that the treatment I was seeking was totally unsupported by research. I was never informed about possible alternative treatment options such as gay-affirmative therapy. Nobody ever told me about the potential for harmful side effects like depression and suicidal thoughts.”

He therefore reports that their practice is unethical which is “particularly disconcerting given the fact that Marcus Bachmann’s clinic has received significant funding from the State of Minnesota and federal funding.”

Becker has some cahoonas.We are anxious to hear if there will be any response from Bachmann and Associates or what Truth Wins Out plans to do with the video footage and allegations of unethical practice. What a fun story. Truth Wins Out gets a major high-five from Queerty for this one. Keep it coming, gents!

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By:           Tanner Efinger
On:           Jul 11, 2011
Tagged: , , , ,

    • lalana

      “Had to did”? Your credibility suffers with each grammatical blooper. And I’m on your side here!

      Jul 11, 2011 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EdWoody

      And what is “cahoonas” ? It that supposed to be “cojones”? Because it sounds like you mixed it up with Kahunas, which means fish, and is probably not what you were going for.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 8:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim

      Bad grammar aside, I’m glad someone finally ‘outed’ this ‘treatment’ center. As time moves on, it seems that homophobia will get pushed further and further into the proverbial closet. It’s also probably a good sign that Bachmann felt the need to hide this aspect of his place of work (and also more insidious on their part).

      Jul 11, 2011 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      I’m going to be controversial here by saying that I am not against ex-gay therapy if it is designed to wean gay men off the appallingly promiscuous and hedonistic lifestyle options that exist within the gay male social scene. Truly, it makes me feel disgusted when I see men acting in incredibly reckless fashions within the gay male social scene. It’s as if they think being gay is about being sleazy.

      Well, have I got news for you. You are no better than male heterosexual sleazeballs who constantly ogle women’s bodies. You are no better than the pathetic straight guys who spend half their salary visiting female prostitutes. You are no better than the straight male worms who trawl the streets of red light districts looking for a blow-job from some desperate drug-addicted hooker.

      Feel free to abuse me. I don’t give a rat’s. I’m here to simply call a spade a spade. I am fed up with the appropriation of the gay rights notion by hedonistic sleazeballs who think that being gay is about feeding one’s insatiable male sexual appetite.

      I will make the strong proviso, however, that, if ex-gay therapy is about changing one’s orientation, it is totally abhorrent to me. You cannot change automatic sexual feelings. Attempting to change them is a recipe for a nervous breakdown. Anyone who runs clinics that are designed to change orientations – as opposed to weaning people off promiscuity – should be arrested.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 9:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bobby In Seattle
      Bobby In Seattle


      Oh, get you, girlfriend!

      Jul 11, 2011 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hf2hvit

      @jason: Just your first line proves what an ignoramus you are…

      Jul 11, 2011 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike

      @jason: time for a some therapy, maybe?

      There is no such thing as “appropriation” of rights, gay or otherwise. Equality is for all, without condition. That’s why we protect the victims’ and the criminals’ rights in our legal system.

      Our Constitution and Bill of Rights should protect every person’s rights, period.

      If we screw up our lives (at least by your measuring stick) in our pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness … well, that’s our right, too.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AedanRoberts

      Wait, @Jason, are you telling me that gay men are no different than straight men when it comes to a proclivity towards sexual promiscuity?!?!???!! Are you fucking serious? It’s almost as if the fundamental biology of male sexuality is BUILT that way or something.

      Look: while it may not be the case for every guy out there (sexual libidos come in all shapes and sizes) it is the general average that a human male has a high sex drive and a general, instinctual desire to “spread his seed far and wide”. It is natures way of ensuring the highest probability of pro-creating. And- shock of shocks- that is no different for gay men than it is for straight men. The object of your sexual desire does not change the general percentage of men in your pool from having a high sex drive and a desire to sleep with a lot of different people. The biggest difference is that the gay community does not have the natural inhibitor that is Female sexuality. So the tendency for gay men to have vastly more partners over the course of their life is because they CAN. Straight men would be just as bad if women were wired the same way men were (once again, on average).

      Your apparent disgust for this simple, blatant fact is silly and frankly doesn’t help at all. Acknowledging the reality of the situation, however- without the oozing judgmental crap you are spewing- CAN help. Personally I agree. The gay community- BECAUSE we are no different in biology from straight men- should be working ten times harder to impress upon each other a need for unnatural-but-necessary self-restraint. Unlike straight men most of us gay guys need an inner source of restraint since no outer source is present (most of the time).

      But ex-gay therapy is not there for that. It simply isn’t. And to imply that there is ANY good that comes from it is dangerous and ignorant on your part. They aren’t looking to reign in a gay person’s rampant libido. They are looking to destroy it completely through mental and sometimes physical manipulation (often times in forms of torture).

      Once again- Ex-Gay Therapy does NOT do what you are implying in your first sentence. You want gay people to be less promiscuous? Start a campaign for it. Try to educate people yourself. Seek out groups that are already doing this (they exist). Work towards changing the gay community itself instead of looking to people who seek to destroy it altogether due to ignorance and debunked pseudo-science.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 10:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete n SFO
      Pete n SFO

      Don’t you ever wonder about those shiz-stirrers on the internet… especially gay-blogs?

      I exist! I’m relevant!! I seek attention by being purposefully provocative like a child throwing a tantrum!!!

      Seriously, gayz… why do you take his bait?

      On a side note; love that T-shirt!

      Jul 11, 2011 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gregger

      @Bobby In Seattle: @AedanRoberts: @hf2hvit: @hf2hvit: Please don’t feed the trolls.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree

      Bachmann’s clinïc also didn’t provide Mr. Becker with a “consent” form outlining the risks associated with the treatment. Becker wasn’t advised that the treatment isnt supported by peer-reviewed research. They even violated the low standards of the org. which credentials Christian counselors.

      Don’t forget: state & federal taxes support this unproven & dangerous type of therapy.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Abirdwillingtobeitself

      Becker’s pretty good looking.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe

      @Pete n SFO: Agreed. Besides if you are judging others, its because you have shame, most likely about the very issue you are judging. Thats why closeted gays make some of the worst homophobes.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      The great thing is…Bachman LIED and said the the climic, which takes govt. money DOESN’T practice reparative gay therapy.

      And Jason…..Please don’t pretend you don’t know what they are doing. They are claiming to be able to change desires. You yourself seem to have read a book in the 1970′s and think that your views on the culture are up to date as far as behavior goes. Because, you know, it’s incredibly promiscuous and headonistic men that spend all their time fighting for the right to get married and settle down isn’t it?

      Jul 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf


      So true, Aedan. Evolutionary psychology can be used to explain why one pulls a train in a restroom after several bumps of meth. In fact, it can explain any behavior whatsoever; not just an evolved capacity for language, but individual languages that have emerged in the past ten thousand years (less than an evolutionary blink) like Finnish and German. But maybe not. Maybe it’s all very thin science as there isn’t much proof (we don’t know the social arrangements of our ancestors, nor the types of environmental and social challenges that they faced that resulted in the psychological and physical adaptations, and we won’t given the scant empirical evidence hardly even mentioned to weave most of these gratuitous just so stories). Besides, ten thousand years (the birth of civilization) isn’t enough time to have evolved a rich set of traits, so the traits we have now are the traits our stone age ancestors possessed (we do have stone age minds). And we find that culture doesn’t reduce to evolution, though there is no doubt that evolution framed culture and that our cognitive capacities are evolved (though for what purpose we may never know).

      Having a high libido and sleeping with hundreds of strangers (rampant promiscuity) aren’t ineluctably linked. The highly sexualized atmosphere characterizing much of gay culture is likely driven by profit and preference, as is the rampant substance abuse. These are largely unhealthy if carried to their extreme conclusions, regardless of what people are trying to sell you. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with it, but that you can’t base this particular sexual expression on evolved male sexuality. Just as one can have a high libido without sleeping with hundreds of people (yet not going without), rampant promiscuity isn’t necessarily psychologically unhealthy (though one does have a higher likelihood of a laundry list of std’s as a result), but it’s a good indicator of pathology.

      The comments are more engaging than the lead in! Oh Queerty, you’re awesome. EX gay therapy BAD (relevance)! Michelle and Marcus Bachmann = carnival attractions!

      Jul 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree

      @Ganondorf (#15): So true about the “carnival attractions…..”

      Evolutionary psych./biology are interesting fields: they generate lots of fascinating & plausible hypotheses but they’re widely dismissed by other scientists because they supposedly don’t make “testable predictions” and are short on quantitative data.

      That’s why you won’t find many of the evo-bio people presenting at scientific conferences about biology & evolution, BUT you will see lots of their work cited in the mainstream press & mags like Psychology Today. And, their studies in linguistics are breaking some new ground too.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomMc

      @jason: Unfortunately ex-gay therapy is about changing any non-straight sexual orientation into, what is considered to be, a more-mainstream(i.e. straight) one. Glad we agree that that, in and of itself, can be damaging.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Abirdwillingtobeitself

      Evolutionary psychology is a field of study, not a method. A field of study is a category, and a method is one way of understanding everything within the category. I think Ganondorf doesn’t really understand this distinction. His tendency to talk about evolutionary psychology as a totality (as if it has only a single interpretation and a single use) and his very imprecise use of certain academic words makes me think that.

      But I may just be too much of a genius for my own good.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf


      Evolutionary biology isn’t evolutionary psychology. Evo bio is a respectable hard science that can and does make verifiable predictions, and with attendant reams of quantitative data. For example, if the main predator in an environment had infrared vision, then some organisms that are lower on the food chain would have physical traits that enable them to evade detection by this predator (temperature mimics, for example). I could get very specific about the physical and chemical mechanisms involved in this prediction. And it’s verifiable/falsifiable. Predictions in evolutionary biology aren’t just abstract, and have a record for success unparalleled by other theories. In fact, we have more hard evidence for evolution than we do for the existence of gravity. It’s one of the greatest discoveries in human history.

      As to evo psych, no one doubts that our minds are the product of evolution. Evolution is a fact, and there is no legitimate disagreement about that point. Natural selection has determined many of our mental (though not all) as well as physical characteristics. There are respectable scientists who work in this field. However, there are a great deal of charlatans, too. Pop evolutionary psychology is the junk we usually read about.

      One challenge is that our prehistoric evolutionary ancestors didn’t leave a trace of their social organization or psychological makeup to the level of complexity required to predicate why we evolved certain traits, or what traits were, in fact, evolved as adaptations (mal or adaptive). We can’t go back in time to observe how they lived to determine the purpose that these charlatans are ascribing to these traits. And many of these scientific frauds are basing their research on paper and pencil questionnaires offered to their students (c’mon, talk about not understanding how evolution works). Clade analysis is little better (are we more like chimps or bonobos or a mix of both? What ratio if both?), for we’re the only surviving species in our clade. There’s a dearth of testable hypotheses made, and that isn’t likely going to improve until computer models, of which their exponential complexity is practically unfathomable at this point, advance.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf


      No. You are far from a genius. You are, in fact, an idiot. LOL!

      Jul 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Abirdwillingtobeitself

      @Ganondorf: This coming from a person who chose the name Ganondorf. There are things that you haven’t outgrown. I think you’re in your mid-20s, of slightly better than average intelligence, marginally better than average, which explains why you take the approach you do to learning, with a preference for hard evidence. That’s the fashion these days, in a generation that makes a video tape (“We can’t go back in time to observe how they lived”) into the definitive, when for the genius the definitive is something else. The genius understands the all, he understands the constituency. The marginally better is a biologist, he understands the creature. The genius is a physicist, he understands the atom. Who knows, maybe you’re a genius and you’re hiding it, there are people like that. But I don’t think that’s you.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ganondorf


      You don’t like Zelda? What are you, some kinda fag? Only fags don’t like Zelda. The rest of this is barely worth reading. I highly doubt that you could hold an intelligent conversation on almost any topic related to physics. This trite rehashing of the physicist’s contempt for and dismissal of other sciences and scientists because they’re supposedly not “first”, is a harmless snobbery that’s clearly nuked the fridge if someone as common as you is aware of it. I’ll be sure to pass that along to a friend of mine who is physicist.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted C.
      Ted C.

      @AedanRoberts: When you say “the gay community does not have the natural inhibitor that is Female sexuality”, you’re basically promulgating the centuries old myth that “normal” women don’t enjoy sex, wrapped in new pseudo-scientific evolutionary psychology bullshit. (Which is why the Discovery Channel is banned in my house.)

      Consider this: Maybe men aren’t innately more promiscuous than women, but the *myth* that men are innately more promiscuous *allows* men to be more promiscuous because it gives them permission to be so (while denying women permission).

      Maybe the answers aren’t in evolutionary psychology but rather in sociology.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted C.
      Ted C.

      @AedanRoberts: Also, consider this: The reason the Discovery Channel is full of programmes teaching this crap (i.e. that men are naturally promiscuous and women are naturally monogamous) isn’t because socio-biology is a respected science (it ain’t), but rather because these shows get ratings by giving audiences a pseudo-scientific reinforcement of their arbitrary (and sexist) cultural norms.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • declanto

      Frack the Discovery Channel, I’ll stick to the comments on Queerty. I WANT the T-shirt.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 4:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      Ted C,

      It is not a question of women not enjoying sex. Indeed, women can enjoy sex and its sensory inputs. Rather, it’s an issue of whether female sexuality has the power, prevalance and promiscuity of male sexuality. It doesn’t.

      Male sexuality is about the events leading to pregnancy. It’s a constantly operating machine that will continue to function after it has fertilized a woman. Female sexuality is about pregnancy and carriage of the baby. Once pregnancy is achieved, female sexuality is designed to go into a quiescent period of 9 months. There are actual hormonal changes which ensure this occurs.

      This is basic biology. I know that a lot of gay men refuse to accept this fact. Gay men have built a community on sexual promiscuity, and thus find it strange that their own type of promiscuity paradigm cannot be logically extended to the heterosexual scene without it leading to inter-gender exploitation.

      The simple reality is that, if you extend the promiscuity of the gay male scene to the heterosexual scene, you end up with a sexist and selective sexual scene in which, paradoxically, women are bisexual for the benefit of strictly heterosexual men. This happens because women are sellers by nature and thus will defer to whoredom under sexually permissive circumstances. A whore does what the man tells her to do. If that means interacting sexually with other women to satisfy the man’s fetish, she’ll do it.

      I think that what a lot of gay men forget is that the existing power imbalances between men and women are reinforced, not diminished, as a result of sexual permissiveness. Women become bisexual for the benefit of the male whereas the male remains strictly straight. Therefore, sexism is strengthened, not reduced.

      Gay men need to remember that, while there is no gender difference, and thus no inter-gender power imbalance, in their own scene, in the heterosexual scene it is totally different. You cannot extend the male-male promiscuity paradigm to the heterosexual scene without it damaging women’s rights and increasing their exploitation.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 9:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      Tom Mc,

      Yes, I totally agree that, if ex-gay therapy is designed to change one’s orientation, it is totally abhorrent. In fact, I would call it a form of torture.

      Any ex-gay therapy program that seeks to change a person’s orientation (ie automatic feelings and thoughts) is basically an act of torture and should be shut down.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 9:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M.

      Majority of guys are bisexual or bi-curious!

      Jul 12, 2011 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete n SFO
      Pete n SFO

      My husband went to ex-gay therapy, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. :)


      Jul 12, 2011 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack E. Jett
      Jack E. Jett

      I think that it is important that we all understand what a serious matter this is. It is clear that Marcus is a big queeny closet case…but the damage that he is doing to teens is reprehensible. He and fucked up christian parents create an environment where some teens think suicide is the only way out. We can do “it gets betters” videos until doomsday but as long as motherfuckers like this exist and groups like this are allowed to operate, we are not being as effective as we could.

      I will get off my high horse but this is something very personal to me as I see (living in Texas-the butthole of the bible belt) the damage that it can do.

      Jul 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zach

      @jason: ignore people who make bad comments i hate that when i turn 18 it will b so hard to find someone to b monogamous with because all gay men ive met want one night stands or a fuck buddy ive seen great couples online that make it work but they all got lucky our sexual appetite even though it is just like a straight man is y conservatives hate us they think its disgusting. now dont get me wrong im all for free love sex is beautiful it is the point of life but not the way we over do it

      Jul 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • isha

      i like same sex v much

      Aug 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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